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Recent decline in COVID-19 patients good news for short-staffed St. Charles

(Update: Adding video, chief nursing officer comments)

BEND, Ore (KTVZ) -- Officials at St. Charles Health System are breathing a cautious sigh of relief after going into this typically busy holiday weekend short-staffed and at full capacity, and reaching out for the county and state help.

St. Charles Chief Nursing Officer Debbie Robinson told NewsChannel 21 on Monday, "Are we out of the woods? Absolutely not, but we're sitting in good shape right now, with capacity and staffing."

Just last week, the health system was looking for help in just about every place it could.

"We went into this weekend with every single bed, acute care and critical care, within our system full. and an additional 15 patients (in the Emergency Department) waiting for beds," Robinson said.

She added while the hospital did not specifically request National Guard help (which would have needed approval by the governor), many other measures were taken, including getting assistance from the Oregon Health Authority.

"We did get some additional resources internally,” Robinson said. “We did reach out to all of our caregivers, asking anyone who has availability to work this weekend."

Typically, holiday weekends see an influx of trauma patients, with injuries coming from boating or automobile accidents. But, an expected surge of non-COVID patients never came.

"We're seeing about average weekend volume, but not for a holiday weekend," Robinson said.

In fact, the Bend hospital saw a drop of 10 patients with COVID-19, from 42 on Friday to 32 on Monday, six of them in the ICU and three on ventilators.

But Robinson says that number may not stay low for long.

"Even though our numbers have dropped today, we anticipate in one to two weeks, we'll see them jump back up," she said.

Even with more and more Central Oregonians getting vaccinated, Robinson said 98 percent of their COVID-19 patients were unvaccinated, and she urged the community to keep their guard up.

Author Profile Photo

Jack Hirsh

Jack Hirsh is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Jack here.



    1. Our stories have never said that. We have accurately quoted hospital officials as to the factors (people delaying care because of, yes, COVID) – when the issue a plea to the state to help find 24 ICU nurses, that is very much newsworthy.

    2. Alternative Smart people had a hard time with simple mathematics and science in high school. Alternative smart people are woke with the propaganda fed to them. Alternative smart people are bad for America. Sad

      1. Jonassty….you are not smart. You are a weak beta male that will never say any of this to anyone outside of ktvz comments. Weak in mind and weak physically. You are a coward.

        1. No, my girlfriend who is a 10 by the way told me I need to keep my mouth shut in public. I’m definitely a little plump these days at 6 foot 2, 208 lbs. but I can crank a wiffle ball out of the park. Must be the steroids

      1. Never trumps….you also are a weak little beta male that will never say a word to anyone in public like you speak on ktvz comments. You are a coward, plain and simple. Go put 5 masks on and get another vaccine that’s non fda approved. Maybe it will grow some brain cells? Or if you are lucky you will grow testosterone. BUT I doubt it.

        1. Again with the toxic masculinity baloney. Knock that junk off. It only proves that you are someone that LOVES to insult people rather than respond with anything factually based.

        2. you are the little Zeta afraid of a little jab in the shoulder! little man, big baby! You are lucky you can hide in your mom’s basement and use her computer, because if you called out guys like me out in real life, you would get a big dose of reality!

  1. They wont see it that way blasr as the stories and thanks for saying there is smart people out there. They didn’t say it but it was the tone of it that painted the gloom scenario which they danced the line like a tightrope walker and could have had the funeral march playing over it in the background. We’ll see if by next weekend the tourists that flocked here drive our numbers up again. See how long it is before people call each other names on here today.

  2. St Charles needs to zip it.

    Wholly transparent as to their “Chicken Little” behavior going on for months now.

    Enough is enough.

      1. So sorry to hear that, it is terrible. I have a 19 year old family member that was basically held hostage at a hospital in California. No one could visit her, or help her advocate as they kept for for 2 days. Even after 7 negative COVID test. Luckily she did not pass like your mother, condolences.

    1. Not so much “Chicken Little” as it is the Golden Goose ! St Charles will play this out as long as State and Federal funds/assistance are available. But the facts remain- that Oregon hospitals received 1000 fewer ER visits a week pre-plandemic… and they were just fine… the OHA data don’t lie- these Z21 Headlines do !

  3. When you report what your being told by officials and the same village clowns whine and complain about how you report that information then why don’t they go complain to the original source or go to a different news source like Faux? The same trolls have WAY to much free time to complain.

      1. WOW… just WOW. How did you infer anything racial about that? Or in lieu of an intelligent retort you lower yourself to just insult throwing?

    1. You mean when you report crap daily to scare people into submission? The village idiots eat it up with mask in place and experimental drug that is non fda approved dripping from their arm claiming they understand science when in fact they are money hungry real estate agents looking to sell overpriced houses and bury bend in a heap of lies.

  4. St. Charles has cared more about profits than staffing for a long time. Staff to full beds could be a news story every day if you wanted it to be.

  5. Thanks to all the vaccinated people in the community doing their part to save lives. The rest of the covidiots and mass calls are on their own!. Hope you don’t kill any cancer patients or other significantly ill people wow refusing to take the jab..

    1. Thank you vaccinated clinical trial study people. We will be able to tell the safety of these non fda approved experimental medications in a few years. So far inflammation around the heart of healthy younger lab rats is one of the biggest side effects. Should be ok though after a short hospital stay. Never trumper,in the name of your own science why don’t you get 10 shots and let us know how immune you are. BTW…..when is your booster shot due??? Oh you don’t know? How come? New med? Hahaha

  6. OMG. I thought the hospital was in emergency level of refusing g care, like 1-2 days ago per ktvz. This is so stupid. Ktvz aren’t there any real stories????? Or is this all we got?

  7. So I guess I was right, this was just like the influenza surge in 2018. Barney I can’t find KTVZ’s articles on this, only other local news sources. Guess that nurse that had ktvz do a report on her being so sad and crying after work will be ok after all. Amazing.

  8. We shouldn’t hear the z driving the fear again till end of June on this issue if this virus still is raging. The Indian variant should be running out of steam by then also.

  9. Lol, they are losing control of the big lie anymore. Thanks to the biggest states in the USA for opening up by going back to work, living life, and taking that stupid mask off. Nazi dictator Brown is losing control. If only people listened to the “conspiracy theorist” you wouldn’t have lost 1 1/2 of your life hiding in the dungeon, like China boy Biden. Now even the media, news, and fact-checkers are admitting the virus was created in a Wuhan lab, why believe anything they say. Let’s get back to the audits!

  10. Look at all the cute MAGAts virtue-signaling to eachother and (in their wee brains) to Trump— their disdain for news reporters, health officials/hospitals, and questioning the efficacy of vaccines. Just like Dear Leader, who managed to get vaccinated in SECRET in January, because he was too afraid to spoil his TOUGH GUY image. We know who the suckers are.

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